Detroit public school teachers getting a bonus and deferred compensation | Michigan Radio

Detroit public school teachers getting a bonus and deferred compensation

May 10, 2018

“Our children are too talented to continue to go year after year without a solid teacher from pre-K all the way to 12th grade," says Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent Detroit Public Schools Community District
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

2,000 Detroit public school teachers are getting a bonus.

It’s part of the district’s plan to attract and retain teachers.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the district plans to spend $30 million dollars on bonuses and deferred compensation. Detroit teachers on the top step of the district’s pay scale will get a one-time bonus of $1,373. Teachers will also be compensated for routine salary step increases that didn’t happen during the years the district was controlled by a state appointed emergency manager.

Vitti says the district’s surplus will pay for the teacher bonuses. The surplus was created in part by unpaid teacher salaries tied to a large number of vacancies. The rest is covered in the district’s 2018-2019 fiscal year budget. 

In a bid to recruit more veteran teachers from suburban districts, Detroit Public Schools Community District will no longer limit their recognized experience at two years. Now, new teachers with more experience will qualify for higher salaries.

“This is a significant step for our district,” Vitti told reporters Thursday. “Not only for recruitment, to address class size, but most importantly to empower our children to reach their God-given academic, civic talent.”

Vacant teacher jobs is a chronic problem for Detroit public schools. The district currently has nearly 200 vacancies, which is actually a significant improvement.